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Press Releases

Contact: Steve Jensen
860-524-7377
Steve.Jensen@ct.gov
August 30, 2012

BUSINESSES INVITED TO LEARN ABOUT STATE HIRING-INCENTIVE

PROGRAM SEPT. 12 IN ANSONIA

Greater Valley STEP UP Conference Highlights Wage and Tax Incentives

ANSONIA - Employers looking for assistance in growing their business are invited to join Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman and other state officials at a Sept. 12 conference that will showcase the state's new Subsidized Training and Employment Program (STEP UP) that to date has helped put more than 500 workers back on the job.

"STEP UP is helping to put Connecticut back to work and grow our economy one small business at a time," Lt. Gov. Wyman said. "More than 240 employers have already used this program to hire workers across the employment spectrum, including plant operators and engineers, administrative assistants, marketing support, carpenters, customer service representatives and graphic designers."

The Sept. 12 Greater Valley STEP UP Conference will be held at the Ansonia Armory, 5 State St., and co-hosted by State Rep. Linda M. Gentile and State Sen. Joseph Crisco, both of whom represent the area. Lt. Gov. Wyman and Secretary of State Denise Merrill will provide remarks. Registration for the free event begins at 7:30 a.m. and the conference will run from 8-10:30 a.m.

Online registration is open before Sept. 10 at www.ctworkssw.org/STEPUP . Questions can be directed to Dolores Ryan in the Dept. of Labor's Business Services unit at (203) 455-2602.

Administered by the Department of Labor and the state's five Workforce Investment Boards, STEP UP provides $20 million in wage reimbursements and training grants to small businesses and manufacturers with fewer than 100 employees. A total of 237 unemployed jobseekers have been hired under the wage-subsidy program, and another 275 under the small manufacturer's training grant.

A new enhancement to the program allows qualifying retail businesses, non-profits and faith-based organizations to participate. Additionally, the program will receive another $10 million that can be applied to wage reimbursements when an employer hires a post-9/11 military veteran.

STEP UP was signed into law by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy as part of the Jobs Bill legislation passed by the General Assembly last October. Over the course of a six-month period, Step Up provides up to $12,500 for each new employee to help defray the costs of hiring or training a new employee, said Dennis C. Murphy, Acting Commissioner of the Dept. of Labor.

The new employee must be an unemployed jobseeker, and those hired under the wage subsidy program must meet certain income requirements and reside in specific municipalities, based on population or unemployment rates.

"This conference is an excellent opportunity for employers to to learn how to grow their business," said Rep. Gentile. "Employers can also find out about job expansion and veterans tax credits, incentives for equipment purchases, and effective ways to find and recruit new employees."

Sen. Crisco said: "Small businesses are an important part of both the local and regional economy. These incentives not only help jump-start job creation and encourage long-term economic growth, they are also good investments for taxpayers."

Sponsors of the Greater Valley STEP UP Conference include the Dept. of Labor and its Office of Workforce Competiveness and Veterans' Workforce Development Office; The Workplace; Career Resources Inc.; The Bridgeport Regional Business Council; The Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education; the Dept. of Administrative Services; the Dept. of Economic and Community Development; the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce; the New Haven Manufacturer's Association; the Connecticut Business and Industry Association and the Connecticut Society of Human Resources Managers State Council.

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